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BACKUP COMPUTER PEACE OF MIND, PART 2"
Computer Backup was initially discussed in Part 1 of this two part series. If you missed it click on Computer Backup Part 1.
Backup Computer XP- In Part 1 of Computer Backup we discussed the What, How and the When of Computer Backup to include Windows XP.
In Part 2 we will discuss the Where, Who, Types and briefly look at our recommended backup software. Here we go.
WHERE SHOULD COMPUTER BACKUPS BE STORED?
ONSITE STORAGE FOR BACKUP
Store your computer backup media like tapes, CD, DVD, Zip/Jaz, floppies, external portable hard drives, and USB flash/thumb drives in the most secure location in your home or office. I call these computer backup sets.
This location should be protected to the maximum extent possible against fire, flood, theft, earthquake, hurricane, tornado and user error.
Why you say? Once again, it is easier to replace your computer, than it is to replace your files, records, photos, music and movies that your computer contains.
The physical security of your backup sets is important. The cleaning crew may accidentally discard what it thinks is trash, a disgruntled employee may steal it or destroy it and it may be inadvertently placed in a hostile environment where it could be subject to cold, heat, moisture and so forth.
Therefore a fireproof and waterproof safe or container is the minimum protection you should consider for onsite storage of backup sets.
If your fireproof container is not waterproof, then store your backup sets inside it in plastic, waterproof packages.
Alright so we’ve got that straight, OK? But what did the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and the recent devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita teach us about backup? They taught us about the necessity of having Offsite Storage.
OFFSITE STORAGE FOR COMPUTER BACKUP
A full computer backup set must be placed in secure offsite storage a minimum of monthly. Some businesses should do so daily or weekly. Simply ask yourself the question, if I suffer a catastrophic loss at this location, how current must my data be for my business to successfully recover?
Based upon the answer to that question, you can determine how frequently to rotate a full backup set to offsite storage.
storage may be to a safe deposit box, a geographically separate office
or a trusted person’s home or place of business.
Your answer will determine the location for your backup offsite storage.
For example, if I live in an earthquake or hurricane area, I should select a different location for my offsite storage not likely to be in the affected area. If I live in Louisiana, then maybe I should send my backup sets to Iowa or Utah (Online Computer Backup was discussed in Part 1).
WHO SHOULD PERFORM MY COMPUTER BACKUPS?
If your company does not have an in-house IT department, a critical question is who performs or is responsible for your computer backups. Select someone who is reliable and dependable. Further, select an alternate to function in his/her absence. One missed assignment could be tragic for your business.
Backups should be on an automatic, scheduled basis without user assistance. Backup software capable of doing that will be discussed later. The point here is that someone has to be responsible for checking on the performance of that backup. The same person must insert, remove and rotate the backup media (tapes, CD’s DVD’s, and so forth).
TYPES OF COMPUTER BACKUP
The traditional types of Computer Backup are as follows:
Full Backup- Software backs up ALL the files on your hard drive and marks each file as backed up.
backup- Software backs up all the selected files that have changed
since the most recent All Selected Files backup. This is recommended
if you frequently restore files to your system.
Therefore, most home and business computer owners will perform Full and Incremental backups because most users do not frequently restore files to their system.
Full backups will be performed weekly or monthly. Incremental backups will be performed daily in most cases.
BACKUP COMPUTER SOFTWARE
Computer Backup Software is a critical component of your backup strategy. It must be “set and forget” (or almost).
Tweak All Consultants most frequently use PC BackUp by Migo Software (formerly Stompsoft) due to its simplicity for small businesses and home users. If you are familiar with Windows Explorer then you can easily select files, folders or entire drives for backup.
PC BackUp can perform automated, scheduled backups. It is network aware so you could use it to backup over the network to another computer or server.
Most importantly, Tweak All Consultants have learned that its Restore function works without a hitch.
The newest version is 8.0 and only works with Windows 2000, XP and VISTA.
Please read our review of the PC BackUp in the article Computer Backup Software.
Check out my initial impressions of an Online Data Backup and Storage service.
Unfortunately most home and business computer owners must be sold on backup computer actions. They constantly underestimate its importance. Only when a disaster strikes and their data is lost do they “see the light”.
Don’t be like everyone else, do your computer backups.
If you missed Part 1, click on Computer Backup.
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